Neuville and Novikov to complete M-Sport line-up
The two young guns join Mads Ostberg and Nasser Al-Attiyah at Malcolm Wilson’s team for 2013.
Thierry Neuville and Evgeny Novikov have been added to M-Sport’s driver line-up for the 2013 World Rally Championship.
The pair will contest all thirteen rounds of the 2013 World Rally Championship, driving the team’s Ford Fiesta RS WRCs.
Neuville, 24 and Novikov, 22 join already-confirmed drivers Mads Ostberg, who will also drive the full thirteen rounds of the season, and Nasser Al-Attiyah, who will contest seven rounds.
Neuville will leave Citroen’s Junior World Rally Team, which helped him to finish seventh in the 2012 season, to join M-Sport, while Novikov – who finished one place ahead of Neuville in sixth – stays on at the team.
Commenting on the two signings, M-Sport’s managing director, Malcolm Wilson, said: “Both Evgeny and Thierry were strong candidates since negotiations began. They are young, but they have both shown some real maturity this year – combining obvious speed with a determination to finish all of the events and gain as much knowledge of the stages as possible.
“Both have regularly challenged the factory drivers, and their 2012 results were thoroughly deserved. I am confident that both drivers have more to prove and that we will see more impressive performances from them in 2013.”
Ostberg, Novikov and Neuville will have their first challenge next month at the opening round of the WRC season in Monte Carlo on January 15th, while Al-Attiyah’s Dakar commitments mean that he will contest his first event as an M-Sport driver at Rally Sweden in February.